With summer break ending soon, I’ll be starting my second year as an engineering student at the University of Auckland and I’m excited to go back again.
Leaving home to stay in one of the first-year accommodations last year, it was daunting at first because I didn’t know anyone there, but it was really cool getting to know everyone who came from all around New Zealand and overseas, with different backgrounds and cultures.
I definitely think I benefited from the tour because it was just an extension of this, meeting new people from different places and creating connections that you’ll value for years to come.
Also, I still regularly keep in contact with my French host family, and I’ve been lucky enough to meet the other Young Ambassadors that I went on tour with who are scattered all around the country, so that just tells you about how valuable the friendships and connections you make on the tour is.
I’ve also tried to challenge myself since coming back from the tour as I still remember how everyday spent in France was challenging yet exciting, trying to get by in a different language in an unfamiliar place. Reflecting back on it, it was so satisfying when you could end up doing something you never thought you could, and for me, that came about in the way of running the 2017 Auckland Marathon and I look forward to trying new things this year as well.
And to all the Young Ambassadors of 2018, my advice is to just enjoy the whole experience.
Opportunities like this don’t come around often so make the most of it as you don’t know where the connections you make and experience you have during this tour could lead you later on.
Lastly big thanks to Jeremy who’s part of the #YA2018NZ and Madame Lallemant. They both visited Arras for the high school French trip and have been able to make strong connections between Shirley Boys’ High School and Lycée Professionnel Jacques Le Caron, the school that hosted me when I went as a member of the YA 2016.
I’ll look forward to hearing what Jeremy gets up to over in France along with the rest of the #YA2018NZ group.